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Discover Your Leicester Student Accommodation Options

Many first-year students find that the halls of residence are an ideal location for meeting people and living close to the campus. But there are many other options available particularly as you become immersed in university life

Accommodation for students at an eye

You may choose to live in halls, private accommodation or in your own home.
If you are deciding where to reside, seek out suggestions from your family and friends and try to attend open houses for housing.
Be sure to research the benefits and costs of each alternative before you make the decision.
Make your accommodation request once you’ve been accepted for the course.

Discover your options

Heidi Cooper-Hind is the director of student experiences and employability in the department of student experience and employability at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) states: ‘Deciding where you’ll live is among the most thrilling and crucial choices you’ll have to make during your time at university.’

In general there are four major choices. It is possible to reside:

in university-run accommodation (typically rooms of residence)
in private halls that are owned by the residence
With other students, in a shared flat or privately rented house
at home.

If you decide to avail the facilities offered by your university and accommodation services, you’ll be able to begin your application for accommodation when you’ve accepted an offer on the course, but make sure to check with your university to find out more information about the process.

It’s always good to do some research before you make a decision and do some research,’ says Claire Henshaw, accommodation services team director in the University of Northampton. Start in the early stages as most universities operate on a first come, last served basis. Also, popular rooms are usually booked up quickly.

“We announce when applications are open, and provide “how to” guides as well. The university website is a excellent resource to find information and ensure you’re well informed,’ adds Claire.

Alternately, you can get in touch to the accommodation department of your university, and never be afraid to ask questions when there’s something you’re not sure about.

The open days at the university accommodation provide the chance to meet with staff and discover what’s offered. Claire suggests that even if you are unable to make it in person, make sure to look up the university’s site since they’ll contain descriptions, photos of floor layouts, floor plans and even interactive tour videos.

Halls of residence

“Living in residence halls at a university can allow you to get involved in the student community from day one. Rebecca O’Hare, assistant director of residence life and accommodation office at the University of Leeds.

“Moving away from home can be a huge transition, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that the majority of your classmates are in the same position and living in a university residence allows you to access more support from residence teams.’

To make it clear, halls of residence are large blocks of flats housing hundreds of students, with individual furnished bedrooms organised around corridors , or apartments that have the kitchen shared by all. In some instances bathrooms are shared, however en-suite bedrooms are increasingly commonplace.

They are typically managed by the university or in partnership with a private company They are generally good as they are required to adhere to laws and regulations of the country. Privately-owned halls of residence have all the benefits of halls however are not linked to the university – they book rooms directly with the specific halls you’re interested in . They offer easy online booking options.

A lot of universities offer a spot in halls for first-year full-time students as well as international postgraduates as long as you meet deadlines for application. This will differ between different institutions. For example you might not be eligible for admission if you’ve been through Clearing.

Halls are especially popular among new students who are living away from their home for the first time, according to Heidi. ‘Bills are usually included, so you’ll know exactly what you’re budgeting for and it’s simple to get your room by applying directly to the school – usually via the internet.’

They are usually located on or near campus or within travelling distance living in halls can put you at the centre of the student experience. It’s a fantastic way to make new friends and participate in social events. While your bedroom may be tiny, the amenities you require (for instance, a washer) are generally available on the premises and the Leicester student studio team is on hand in the event of maintenance.

A number of universities also provide catered accommodation. This is a good option when you’re not sure or capable of cooking for yourself, even though it will increase the cost of your rent.

In exchange for the convenience of halls it is possible that you will end up paying more than in a private home or flat. You can’t choose who you share your space with – which can make things tricky in the event that you don’t like living with your fellow residents as well as with all the other things going on, halls aren’t the option for you if want peace and tranquility.

Remember that you’ll need to purchase your TV licence on your own. Heidi adds, ‘Remember that you’ll be responsible for any harm that happens in your halls, which means that you’ll need to contribute to repairs.’

To determine how much you’ll pay in rent, see your university’s website, as prices vary substantially based on where you live and what facilities are available.

In order to make the most of your time in your student residence, Rebecca advises students to make friends with their roommates on the Facebook pages of residences before welcoming week, and attend events both on campus and in halls, and be involved with the residence life events at your university.

Privately rented housing

You may prefer to live in a private house that usually sleeps four or five persons. This is the way followed by most students from second year onwards as well as the first year students.

One benefit is that you can choose who you reside with (for second-year students , this typically involves moving in with acquaintances) and this makes the experience better.

Another benefit is that you’ll have greater choice over where to live. It’s a bit further away from campus, but you’ll have good transportation links, as well as plenty of bars, shops and food outlets provide the popular student areas of the major cities at universities.

The office for accommodation at your university could help you locate houses available. It is a good idea to visit the homes you’re contemplating before signing up”, suggests Heidi, to ensure everything’s in order. The team at accommodation will offer a lot of helpful advice on what to look for and the best questions to be asking during your viewings, as an example.

There are additional important aspects to be aware of. In general, rent is lower than halls, however there are additional costs to pay,’ says Heidi. It’s your responsibility to manage your bills for things like utilities, Wi-Fi access, contents insurance and a TV licence. Remember, as long as everyone in your house is fully-time college students and not a full-time student, you won’t be required to pay council tax.

In addition to managing your finances with care In addition, you’ll have to be at ease in communicating with your landlord or letting agent in order to deal with any issues or arrange repairs. It is important to be aware of the terms and conditions of your lease and know your rights as the tenant.

For example, Heidi explains that landlords are required to utilize a tenancy deposits protection scheme, and the local council could demand repairs if your landlord doesn’t maintain reasonable standards.

Home-based living

For many , the idea of moving away from home, and the sense of freedom that comes with it – is among the primary benefits of going to university.

If you’ve decided to study locally, staying at home can be an excellent option. It will save you costs on rent and expenses, is convenient, and you’ll avoid the stress of moving out to live alongside new friends.

However, you’ll be away from the student experience, and it can be difficult to meet new people away from the crowds of halls and a student home. In order to make it work participate in various activities like societies and sports clubs.

Making your decision

This isn’t an easy choice to make, so take help from the most diverse sources you can. Family and friends who’ve been to university before can be a great starting point.

‘Many universities, including AUB, invite applicants to attend a day of application before the beginning of term, where you are able to meet fellow students and look at local rental properties available for rent,’ Heidi says.

Claire says that you shouldn’t be afraid to contact university staff should you have questions about halls or private accommodations.

It’s never too early to begin preparing financially. If you’re planning to reside in halls or private accommodation while studying, then you will need to save some cash as well,’ says Claire. Most universities will ask for an upfront rent or deposit when you apply for accommodation.

Plus, saving now in preparation for university is a great method to ensure you’re covered during the initial few months, particularly if you’re moving away from home.